Catch up!

Hi Gang

Well what a busy few months I have had and not much time for socialising/doing stuff I want to do…

We had a few family issues with a family member which I had to sort out, it was all very stressful but that has now passed and we can as a family move forward, I had to also rush hubby to hospital at 11pm one evening, he refused to allow me to call ambulance so keeping all fingers crossed I got him there in time and, luckily although it was a massive shock for me to deal with and I didn’t sleep for 48 hours (my manager said I was speaking like I was on speed when I rang in work to say I wouldn’t be in due to lack of sleep and apparently wasn’t making much sense – LOL!).  Luckily he is all better now and none the worse for wear.

On the plot we have had our failures and successes like everyone else I suspect.  Main failure was the leeks, I tried an experiment by sowing my leeks very early i.e. during the autumn to try to get a crop early summer (as per an historical gardening programme suggested and demonstrated) but as we know if you sow early you can develop rust and this is exactly what happened, they all also went to seed before the rust set in.

Parsnips took 4 sowings due to the heavy wet clay soil as did the carrots.  The peas took 2 sowings and at first were very yellow and sickly but as the ground dried out and a good thick layer of well rotted horse manure went on the bed around the peas along with lots of liquid feed they have perked up and producing a small crop.  Later sowings in another area of the lottie are doing rather better.

The cucumbers, courgettes, squashes etc are all doing extremely well and have been picking courgettes and cucumbers until I am sick of seeing them and am hopefull of a good squash and pumpkin harvest.

All the raspberry runners I transplanted to the new fruit cage area died and having already dug up and got rid of the parent plants I now have to re-stock along with the gooseberry plants.  Unfortunately when I transplanted it was a the correct transplanting time i.e. early winter but, then we had all that flooding and, as they hadn’t got established in their new beds they simply couldn’t cope and died.  But on a positive note, I can now re-stock with the breeds of raspberries and gooseberries rather than using the old which were given to me from other plotholders clearing their plots.

Runner been Desiree has been marvelous this year despite the deer munching the side shoots during the early growing period,  I have commandeered my parents spare freezer and have kept another plot holder supplied where her’s have totally failed.  This particular breed is true to its description – “A very heavy cropping runner bean that crops well even in dry conditions. Produces long, broad pods up to 30cm (12”) in length that are completely stringless”.  I also found them to be the sweetest of all the runners I have grown and for me are superior on taste, quality and quantity than Wisley Magic (not advertised as stringless).

I am growing Chantony carrots this year for the 1st time in a nice big tub.  No netting from carrot fly and so far all is well.

Tomatoes in the greenhouse have been infested with tomato moth caterpillar which along with blossom end rot have lost about 1/2 my tomatoes.   A learning curve with regards to the blossom end rot is to feed more when growing in grow-bags and to put a net over the greenhouse door and window to allow fresh air in but not the moth.  I will of course come autumn totally empty the greenhouse, give it all a good scrub, washing all the pots, trays and staging in Jays fluid along with the glass before re-stocking for the winter, hopefully this will get rid of any over-wintering caterpillars and other nasties.

Well other than watering, a few beds cleared such as the onion and garlic which is now in store drying I have so much to do on the plots, ground needs improving after last winters flood as it’s still not recovered, new weeds which were never present before have started germinating where the seeds have blown in from other plots and a wildlife and pond area needs to be created to encourage all those lovely frogs and toads to take up residence.


16 Responses

  1. VegVamp says:

    Welcome back Mary and goodness you have been busy. Lovely to read your blog and catch on on all your news – not the family difficulties of course just glad you have got that sorted.

  2. Beanstew says:

    Just reading your blog Mary, brought it home to me that keeping an allotment sorts the girls out from the women – and it’s more than pure horticultural skill. Its the ability to keep going, to keep on trying, to replant if necessary, to never give up, that sorts out the people who will reap bounteous and hard-won harvests in the end. The fact that you have managed to do this with family difficulties and a sick husband says an awful lot about you – and I’m really glad you are back and I’m reading this. Good on yer, girl! (woman)

    • Veggiepatch says:

      Thank you, I was a bit worried about coming back on here cus I tend to drift on and off from the site.

    • Veggiepatch says:

      Its more the fact the allotment keeps me going rather than the other way around. When life throws difficulties at me worries and anxieties and sadness seem to melt away as my focus is on getting next seasons crops sown, protecting plants from invaders and just enjoying the wildlife you see from just sitting still amongst flowers, veggies and trees. Im a little sad though my experiment with the leeks failed as they are one of my favourite veggies especially in winter!

      • Beanstew says:

        Think if we had a £1 for every bright idea we nurtured in our bosom – only to watch it go KERBOOM!!! we’d all be better off. Humanity has been having bright ideas since the dawn of history – I had one this year involving aggregate and tomatoes, which didn’t work either – and I do feel a bit of a fool after many years of growing them successfuly. But heh! looking forward to trying Dixon’s block onions, and Allan’s underplanting of brassicas with carrots next year. It’ll be interesting AND fun.

  3. mick1970 says:

    well done on solving the problems that life throws at us take it easy…

    • Veggiepatch says:

      Thanks Mick, It was really stressful and the hardest thing was keeping my temper with this family member – gosh how I wanted to let rip and tell the person what I thought but it wouldn’t have done any good I just had to get it sorted for my parents sake and give them all the support I could. As for hubby well I did go into child-mode when I picked him up and we were waiting for the bus – I had a little melt-down in a coffee shop when the soup burnt my lips and the coffee spilt into its saucer and I spilt soup down my top and we ended up being late for the bus and had to wait for the next one. But it was just lack of sleep and exhaustion that brought it on my melt down and the relief he was out of hospital and that he was ok! :wacko:

  4. cilla says:

    Goodness Mary, you have been through the mill. You are definitely dedicated in the veggie department, I hope the rest of the season is successful for you. :rose:

    • Veggiepatch says:

      Hi Cilla

      LOL, I’m not educated in the veggie department, mum taught me loads and I like to experiment with growing stuff, making lots of mistakes along the way and learning at the same time – I just love it!

  5. shedsue says:

    Hi ya Mary ..what a month you have had :rose: …success and failure and all part of the lottie life and it’s still amazing when we get produce, and I guess it’s that that keeps us going…nice to see you back Mary xx

    • Veggiepatch says:

      Hi Sue

      I think the failures are part of the learning none of us know everything and as ideas are developed it’s good to try them out – some with success, some without and when it works – WOW how amazing is that. When I think of what can be produced from a seed almost too small to see and you get the most delicious veggies or fruit to eat I think its just great! :good:

      • shedsue says:

        I still think WOW too..and everything that succeeds is such a bonus, as I never expect anything …I agree with what you said to’s so good for the the mind getting up the plot, it seems to put things into perspective , and makes us feel small in the grand scheme of it all :rose:

  6. gertie says:

    Good to have you back Mary and I will reread your blog more than once…it’s very informative…bravo.
    Glad hubby is better…scary ennit :-(
    You take care now :heart:
    Anne :rose:

  7. Veggiepatch says:

    Thanks Ann and what was most scary was realising the person you rely on more than anyone else and who is the stronger of the two of you is the one who needs looking after. He’s the one who looks after me when I have my migraines, puts my socks on when I have over-done it on the lotti and my back has locked the next day etc…so for the strong person to be unwell was a massive shock to me and made me realise just how much he does for me. :heart:

  8. Hello Mary :-) life can certainly be a whirlwind – glad you’re back on track and back on here :yes: take care :rose:

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